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13 December, 2006

Stocking fellas

Lingerie retailer Marks & Spencer has hired male assistants for fifty of its branches, specifically to advise male customers on their seasonal gift purchases.  It sounds like a good idea, but do you want my advice?

Don't. Just don't. It's too dangerous, and the longer-term consequences of getting it wrong outweigh the transitory benefits of getting it right (and there'll always be a nagging doubt that you didn't really get it right).

As I've mentioned before, there is one way to succeed: by shopping together, with the supervision of the recipient. Perhaps this mightn't be practical for those who celebrate the traditional commercial/family christmas, but I drastically prefer the alternative arrived at by H & I: we don't see one another over the 'core' period of 24-26 December, spending that time with our families. We then do our 'christmas' shopping together during the following week (if H is in the UK at all) or during the January sales. It's almost a matter of each shopping for him/herself and the other paying the bill. Stated so baldly, that sounds unromantic, but somehow it isn't, and it strips away the infuriating artifice of the established system, rendering the whole 'holiday' almost bearable.

Incidentally, please don't blame me for the title. I think M&S coined the phrase.

Comments

Sounds very sensible to me. I did all my Christmas shopping this weekend, mainly down te pound shop, although I did splash for my Dad - he got 3.50 worth of diabetic chocolates.

(I hate Christmas me!)

Posted by looby at December 14, 2006 12:05 PM
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